Part of Something Marked Out From the Rest

Sometimes my past catches up to me
and I feel my hand draw a bowstring
on the soggy field at Agincourt.

It is not that I died that day
or the men I killed
but the horses deserved better.

A moment that wicks up my attention
is the Sixth Wisconsin’s charge
of the railroad cut at Gettysburg

where a round ball slammed into my thigh
and I fell twenty yards from glory
to bleed out upon the grass.

I wish the past presented more pleasant images
like swimming in an ocean
following an octopus along the coral

or choppy white water
through a rocky chute
while paddling the canoe like crazy.

There is that evening with wig removed
I sat in candlelight to read
Gutenberg’s newly printed bible

and fell asleep
while the dogs lazed by the fire
and my beloved placed a blanket over me.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

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